SANA’A, Jan. 17 (Saba) – Over 300 Ethiopian illegal migrants were sent on Thursday at the Passport and Immigration Authority (PIA) in Sana’a from Hajjah province to be deported to their home country
A source at the Hajjah security office said that 345 Ethiopian illegal migrants have been captured or, some of them were freed from backyards of smugglers in Haradh city.
He said that the Ethiopians were kept at a camp of the International Migration Organization (IMO) in Haradh and then sent to the PIA in Sana’a to complete the deportation measures in collaboration IOM.
The African influx into Yemen hit a record last year. According to the UNHCR, a record 107,500 African refugees and migrants made the journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2012, an increase from 103,000 people in 2011, which is the previous record high.
UNHCR announced Tuesday [January 15th] the African migration into Yemen in 2012 was the largest since 2006 when the United Nations refugee agency began compiling these statistics.
It said that more than 80% of the migrants were Ethiopians nationals (over 84,000 arrivals) and the rest Somalis. Many migrants use Yemen as a transit stop en route to other Gulf States.
The dangerous crossing has tragic consequences. The UNHCR estimates that at least 100 people drowned or went missing in various incidents in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in 2012.
Human traffickers often force passengers into the water to avoid the Yemeni coast guard, causing many to drown, the UNHCR said.
Despite facing its own economic and security difficulties, Yemen is host to more than 236,000 refugees, nearly all of whom are Somali. Somalis are automatically recognized as refugees upon arriving in Yemen.